Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

A Libyan woman marches by the courthouse calling for the ouster of Moammar Kadafi.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Thousands of women rally in front of the Benghazi courthouse to call for a united and democratic Libya, free of the dictatorial rule of Moammar Kadafi.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Some of the women marching in Benghazi carried pictures of fathers, husbands, brothers and sons slain or imprisoned under the regime of Moammar Kadafi.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A woman raises the victory sign while marching to the rally.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Women on their way to the rally walk past pictures of men who have been imprisoned or killed under the Moammar Kadafi regime.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A woman and child join the rally in front of the courthouse.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A boy is framed by flags of the Libyan revolution held aloft by women at the rally.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Inspired by the historic rally by thousands of women, Libyan men join the demonstration.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

More men and boys join the women's rally.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Boys stand in front of a graffiti-covered wall after the historic gathering of thousands of women in the eastern city.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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By Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times

Thousands of women marched through the streets of Benghazi on Wednesday to rally in front of the courthouse for an event commemorating International Women’s Day.

Because the country is at war, many Libyan women have chosen to stay indoors, and the streets of Benghazi — a city of about 1.5 million people — have been filled mostly by men in the last two weeks. That changed Wednesday as overwhelming numbers of women, most wearing veils, took to the streets to wave flags, banners and signs, calling for a united and democratic country free of the dictatorial rule of Moammar Kadafi.

Interspersed with chants of “God is great,” the women also shouted “No negotiations with Kadafi!” and “The blood of our martyrs is not spilled in vain.”

Many brought their daughters. Some clutched large, framed pictures of fathers, brothers, husbands and sons who have been imprisoned or killed by the dictator. All made their voices heard, and spoke for those who have disappeared or died.

From a window on the second floor of the courthouse, I saw the crowd spreading back to the edge of the corniche, where waves from the Mediterranean Sea gently rolled ashore. It was a lovely sight.

I covered the event for about three hours and not a single woman brought a Kalashnikov to fire aimlessly into the air — and I was thankful for that.

I have to admit that I got a little rattled Tuesday, standing out in the open at a checkpoint in Ras Lanuf, where fierce fighting between the rebels and Kadafi loyalists has raged.

I couldn’t decide where to be, whether here or there or a mile down the road. And it dawned on me that it didn’t matter. The bombs fell all day, and it was anybody’s guess where they would land.

I haven’t been to this part of the world for almost seven years, ever since I witnessed the horror and carnage of a place called Fallouja. Two days ago, I photographed a blood-splattered pickup truck, which was riddled with shrapnel from a missile that killed a family of six. Everything that has passed told me I was too close, and I decided to pull back.

Amid the throngs back in Benghazi I saw a small sign that said, “Stop the killing.” I have to say, I couldn’t agree more.

1 Comment

  1. August 25, 2011, 4:12 pm

    well done libyan peeps – let's hope things can be finished off quickly and a great new country can be built

    By: www.rawvision.com

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